Letters to the Editor

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UNIONS: Get the facts on public employee benefits

Letter by Linda L. Higgins, Tacoma on June 18, 2012 at 11:57 am with 13 Comments »
June 18, 2012 2:12 pm

In his June 13 column, Richard S. Davis cites a Marquette University Law School study that showed 75 percent of Wisconsin voters favored “requiring public employees to contribute to their own pensions and pay more for health insurance.”

I can’t speak for Wisconsin or any other state except Washington, but public employees in this state do contribute to their pensions – substantially. To say otherwise is simply untrue. We also contribute to our health insurance premiums and have out-of-pocket expenses when we are hospitalized or see the doctor.

Certainly I’m grateful that I have health insurance and wish this for everyone. I did, however, have definite out-of-pocket costs for two medical procedures and an emergency room visit last year.

The early retirement we supposedly enjoy is also an exaggeration. I’m not retiring early nor are any of my colleagues. Maybe some of those in the administrative ranks retire early, but most of us in the public school setting who are not administrators don’t have the means to do that.

Criticize public sector workers all you want, but please base your opinions on accurate information.

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. LeePHill says:

    Accurate information? Linda, you are asking a lot.

  2. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    What we want is the same benefits and wages for the government unions that the people that pay for them get. We are sick of paying your way as our families suffer under this recession.

    I would have to say too many public sector positions are overpaid for what they do. Often their job descriptions are overstated for what these employees actually do.

    Most importantly many of the positions are supporting each other. In other words self serving. Let a non public auditor do some house cleaning so we the tax payer can use some of these monies to pay down our debt or create real jobs that do something productive for society.

    So lets talk cutting public sevice jobs as well as wages and benefits. It’s time.

  3. Fibonacci says:

    I notice that you addressed NONE of the letter writers point–typical. In your word, no public employee would get any benefit such as health care until EVERY private sector employee had more? Public employees are at the bottom of the barrel right? By the way, I am not even a public employee, I work for a private company, but you have no basis for your hatred of unions and public employees. A read a study of over 200 jobs comparing public and private. Public employees were higher paid in about 20 of these and most of those jobs were janitorial and secretarial positions. So, just what do you base this “over paid” garbage on?

  4. billybushey says:

    Taxedenough is just another Tea Bugger that hates working folks and brown people

  5. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Taxed is a former union member (promoted) to evil management and became the enemy of the union. I dealt with the unions (IAM) for many years and they are only good for throwing out of my office on their ear.

    I never lost a grievance of an unfair labor practice suit. Yes, I know the unions and enjoy beating them in court.

    But this country can no longer afford the legal cost and production delays of union fights. So it’s time for the unions to go. When the people get the choice of jobs or unions they will pick jobs every time.

    Unions have figured out that the private sector will never rehire Americans until unions are gone. Declining membership is proof this plan is working. American workers can take care of themselves and have figured it out that companies will treat them well to hire and retain the best people. The public government sector will be soon starved into submission by falling revenues and bloated benefit packages resulting in the public’s non support of tax increases.
    I understand you are worried. You just picked the wrong team and your days are numbered.

    billy, Your wrong, taxed loves real working folks and brown people but do hate the unions and all they stand for.

  6. averageJoseph says:

    True Linda. We do contribute subsatntially to our pensions and health plans. I think that is why the teacher’s union in Wisconsin appeared to be a bunch of whiners. Walker just made sure they were “paying their fair share”. ;)

  7. Want a job with union wages and benifits – join a union.

  8. The right doesn’t want the facts Linda, the truth and facts do not support their dogma and their hate filled agenda.

  9. commoncents says:

    taxed — You very well may be right and union membership is an antiquated bygone affiliation. We will see in the next few years with Boeing South Carolina. They were represented when part of Vought and in numbers of about 300 – and I might add represented very poorly so they rightfully decertified. However, now they number about 6k and their comp and benefits are significantly lower than their peers in union represented states. Will they continue to fight their right to be a non-union shop or the desire for comparabilty win out and will they unionize? I’m guessing the latter…but we will see.

  10. LeePHill says:

    I worked with people like Taxedenough, who were “promoted” out of their union job.

    Their genius shut down the Tacoma News Tribune in the late 1970s for two weeks.

    They really won that battle. How much advertising revenue was lost over an argument over 5% difference in wages increase (1978 wages, BTW) for about a dozen workers?

    TaxedEnough IS the reason for unions. Of course, there are some that talk like Taxedenough who still enjoy union wages in their homes.

  11. Richard Davis continuously bashes union’s and their member’s motives, when he should be writing about business. He’s ant-union and uses his column as a bully pulpit. If he had his way labor would be lining up, with hats in hand, waiting for handouts from the corporate world. And he’s doing what he can to facilitate this outcome.

  12. averageJoseph says:

    Captain obvious says uses his column as a bully pulpit

    LMAO! What do all the other columnists do… Bandito?

  13. Why does the right hate it when others are paid for their labor?
    Don’t they want to be paid for their labor too?
    Or do they do any labor?

    I wish someone could explain how you can brain wash so many people into voting against their own self interests!

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